As the COVID death toll crosses 1000 in Australia, the government is preparing to switch its approach.
Up until now the country has implemented fortress-style controls, closing borders and placing half the population in lockdown, but authorities have dispensed with plans to crush the virus and say that Australians will have to learn to live with it.
Australia is making that decision, even as infections rise,New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian issued the grim warning that October will be the worst month for the state's intensive care units:
"Our hospital system is under pressure. Will we need to do things differently? Of course, we will. We will need to manage things differently because we are in the middle of a pandemic, but we will cope, of course we will.”
Australia's early success quelling the virus has been replaced with public frustration at a delayed vaccine rollout.
Just over 33% of those aged 16 and older have received two vaccine doses, well below most comparable countries.
As the weary nation reopens, health experts have cautioned that mask-wearing needs to continue.
Tourism operators have joined the chorus of mounting anger at the government, pointing to the devastating impact the restrictions have had on their industry.
In the state of Queensland - home to the Great Barrier Reef, Daniel Gschwind, head of QLD's tourism council says local tour operators are struggling. He estimates the state is losing $5 billion U.S a year from international tourism and as much as $730 million U.S. a month from other parts of the country.
"We've had cyclones and floods and bushfires and everything else that they can throw at us, but we've always overcome. But, this one is the most known disruptions that we've ever faced because most importantly there is no immediate end in sight."
Meanwhile, business owners in Sydney, which has been at the epicenter of the delta outbreak, are still grappling with a loss to the bottom line after three months of restrictions.